The teams also swapped 2016 draft picks, with Pittsburgh getting Vancouver’s second-round selection and the Canucks receiving a third-round choice from the Penguins. The five-year veteran scored 39 points with 15 goals and 24 assists in 75 games for the Canucks last season.
The trade allows the Penguins to clear Sutter’s $3.3 million cap hit, while also adding a more skilled center that can produce in Bonino.
Brandon Sutter, 26, isn’t a bad player, but he never received high praise from the fans in Pittsburgh. At the time, there were several suitors, and the Penguins were offering several packages that included Sutter, along with draft picks and defenceman Simon Despres.
Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter (16) skates with the puck past Dallas Stars center Shawn Horcoff (10) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 19, 2015, in Dallas. He excelled in the AHL playoffs with the Utica Comets, with three goals and eight points in 23 games and was a plus-7. Shipping Sutter west in exchange for the less-expensive Bonino while also adding Fehr gives coach Mike Johnston more flexibility as the team tries to rally after a disappointing first-round playoff exit. And what the team lost in Brandon Sutter, they gained back just minutes later with the signing of Eric Fehr. “I think there are still a couple of options out there we could explore, but I’m not quite sure as to where that might go”.
Benning believes the right-shot Sutter is a current and future franchise fit, and is working on a contract extension.
“Hopefully in the next few days we can get something figured out”, said Sutter, who was selected 11th overall in the 2007 draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Bonino was acquired by the Canucks in 2014 in the trade that sent Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks.
Like Benning said, “foundation piece”. His points are average, and actually decisively below the guy he’s replacing – Sutter has 59 points over his last two seasons to Bonino’s 88.
The departure of Clendening, who recently signed a new two-way contract with the Canucks, should solidify rookie Frank Corrado’s spot on the Vancouver defence.